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Transition to the Mid-Paleozoic

The Early Silurian saw recovery from the Late Ordovician mass extinction.

Most taxa rediversified in an evolutionary radiation that led to a refilling of vacated niches:

Trilobites became less conspicuous.

Brachiopods became much more conspicuous.

Bivalve mollusks invaded fresh water.

Planktonic graptolites diversified spectacularly.

Many new swimming predators evolved during the Silurian and Devonian.

Silurian

Page 4

Spirograptus turriculatus,

Early Silurian graptolite,

Cotton Formation, Cottons Hill Quarry, New South Wales, Australia.

Image courtesy of The Virtual Fossil Museum, www.fossilmuseum.net.

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